The Ace. The Giraffe. The Tiger. Sound familiar? They’re nicknames for some of the cast members of “Running Man,” the reality-variety show that delivers pandemonium with incredible challenges in every episode; things are guaranteed cray-cray on their turf, and I love every minute of it. Even the biggest pop stars and most intimidating actors are reduced to a screaming, blithering, mudslinging mess – an altogether deliciously entertaining experience.
The guests on “Running Man” run the gamut from pop music and rap worlds to legendary actors and Olympic athletes. After a few seasons, some veteran guests have emerged from the show’s many episodes: Jung Yong Hwa (from CNBLUE), Suzy (miss A), and Nichkhun (2PM).
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Episodes #7, 11, 17, 35, 36, 72, 73, 104, 127, 129, 186 (11 episodes).
Updated on April 28, 2015: Jung Yong Hwa has been on another episode of “Running Man” -episode 242 (April 12, 2015)- making his total 12.
The true veteran guest of Running Man, rocker and actor Jung Yong Hwa, has been on the show so many times, he’s considered part of the Running Man family (they call him Super Guest or Idol Ace).
He’s got a credit I’d frame on my wall (and Instagram), too: Jung Yong Hwa’s one of the few guests to have ever torn off Kim Jong Kook’s (aka the Tiger’s) name tag. He even dedicated the win to his parents; cute. Yong Hwa has the most wins (a total of seven) for any guest.
Just watch him get his game face on:
Episode 7: There was that picture-taking challenge. And Yong Hwa’s impromptu performance of “I’m a Loner” when Ji Suk Jin (aka Big Nose) and Haha stumbled upon a CNBLUE fan on the streets of Seoul. Sweet.
Episode 127: This was the episode in which the aforementioned tearing of the Tiger’s name tag gloriously took place. Yong Hwa was teamed up with fellow CNBLUE member Lee Jong Hyun, Simon Dominic (Supreme Team), Lee Ki Kwang (BEAST), and Song Ji Hyo (Running Man cast).
Episode 186: The entire CNBLUE quad appeared on the show (members had appeared on the show individually before), forming a particularly visually-friendly team onscreen. Both CNBLUE and the Running Man camps (including guest, actress Shim Eun Kyung) recruited extra team members from the crowd, while Running Man teams struggled to get ogling CNBLUE fangirls to focus.
Final scoreboard for the toothy troubadour: 7 wins, 2 losses
(Back-to-back episodes resulting in accumulated win counted singly.)
Episodes #55, 93, 94, 116, 117, 155, 172, 173, 208 (9 episodes).
And then there’s Suzy. The songstress and thespian has wrapped 9 episodes of the show. She frequently teamed up with Haha, had some charming banter with Lee Kwang Soo, and a nice win with Song Ji Hyo (episode 66).
Episode 94: Haha carries her while sprinting across a bridge, wedding day style.
Episode 155: A nicely spooky episode, in which Kwang Soo warns of his high kick, then proceeds to steal a kick at Kim Jong Kook, ha. Suzy teams up with Song Ji Hyo and together the stealthy duo seals the win.
Episode 172: The joke that the show was just a blind date setup for Suzy and Los Angeles Dodger Ryu Hyun Jin, followed by a fierce dodgeball game owned by the major league baseball pitcher.
Episode 173: The impromptu dance-a-thon with Kwang Soo and Ryu Hyun Jin. (Sidenote: that Kwang Soo is so damn gangly adorable. Second sidenote: Ryu Hyun Jin has a cackle of a laugh.)
Final Score: 5 wins, 4 losses.
Episodes #4-5, 19, 40, 50-51, 104, 195 (8 episodes).
Khun, Khunnie, the Khun-meister. The Thai American with the boyish mug has been on the show eight times.
Episode 40: Khun’s appearance with fellow 2PM member Taecyeon in this episode had the boys running all over a mock French village, taking on the entire Running Man cast. And then the beastly boys faced off in opposing teams in a marvelous competition of singing, instrument-playing misfits. With all of one hour for band practice. (Flashbacks of my high school choir and church youth group concerts came rushing back.) Did you catch when their Running Man teammates struggled to find their pitch (and rhythm)? Heheh.
Scene-stealer: a frustrated Taecyeon gets up to take over as maestro.
Episode 195: Nichkhun with the rest of 2PM (minus Taecyeon), went up against fellow guests 2NE1 and Mystic89. Khun’s run secured a win for the relay race challenge, awarding the team with playing one of 2PM’s music videos all day on a jumbo screen. Ultimately, their team lost the episode to 2NE1 (in all fairness, though, 2NE1 had the Tiger on their team).
Scene-stealer: Gary’s demonic dash in snorkeling flippers during the relay race – pfft – without taking the baton. Took Jong Kook forever to catch up to him, and he had to start all over again. Poor Gary.
Final Score: 4 wins, 3 losses.
- f(x)‘s Sulli (7 episodes)
- Professional soccer player Park Ji Sung (6 episodes)
- MBLAQ star Lee Joon (6 episodes)
- BIGBANG’s Seungri and Daesung (each 5 episodes)
- Actor Lee Dong Wook (5 episodes)
- Updated on April 28, 2015: Actor Kim Woo Bin (6 episodes)
Episode 162: Lee Joon’s appearance with fellow MBLAQ member Seung Ho alongside Kwang Soo in the episode’s introductory dance performances. Let me repeat: Kwang Soo. Dancing. With MBLAQ. Puah.
Kwang Soo was so serious (and seriously spindly), Lee Joon could hardly keep a straight face (and how could he, or anyone?) Check out those reedy stems, baby. (Sidenote: Running Man producers, please add more choreographed dance numbers with Lee Kwang Soo. Solid scene stealer and guaranteed laugh attack.)
Looking for your next guests, Running Man? Might I suggest an ultimate dance team battle, with oh, I don’t know, Jay Park vs. Rain vs. Taeyang? With a mixed dance medley of b-boy, hip hop, and tango? Just throwing it out there. (And ah, to see Kwang Soo dance again.)
What I wouldn’t give to be a cast member on this show. Sigh. Who do you want to see on Running Man?